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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nature's Course

A transient river flows through Hahamongna Watershed Park, charting its own course to carry the recent rainfall from the mountains to the dam. See it while you can. We live in the desert after all.

Tonight the Mayor's State of the City event will be held at LaSalle High School. The event's theme is "Charting a New Course." Mayor Bogaard and his staff choose a different location for his speech every year. Last year--or was it the year before?--it was the Rose Bowl locker room, remember? Wish I hadn't missed that. This year I'll be sure to attend because I did the voice-over for the video presentation and I haven't heard the final edit. Could you miss that? I can't. It's a big event (free), starting at 6:30pm, and all are invited.

Another free event I plan to attend is the upcoming City Council Meeting on Monday, February 1st. The Council will discuss the "Adoption of the Initial Study and Approval of the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan Addendum for the Hahamongna Annex." I've read the addendum and find it difficult to follow (and my degree is in Rhetoric). I dearly wish they'd write these things in English. But because they don't they've got some Hahamongna lovers up in arms wondering if they're trying to pull something. Are they going to put in a road across our precious mid-city wilderness? Are they going to tear out non-invasive, non-native trees using funds that might be better used elsewhere in this economy? (Actually, that part's pretty clear. They are.) And who are "they?"

Frankly, I'm not sure. But I'll go to the meeting and listen. Since I don't understand the plan I'm dependent on others to interpret it for me, and different people have different interpretations. My request of those who wrote the plan would be to please rewrite it in English and make their intentions clear.

The time of the meeting is listed as 6:30pm and the public hearing on the Hahamongna Annex issue is listed as 7:30pm. Many postings say the meeting is at 7:30. I'll try to get to the bottom of this today and let you know what time to show up so you can get a seat. Update: I just called City Hall. The meeting begins at 6:30 but it's okay to enter late. The issue will be heard at 7:30.

Time after time, nature shows us that she will out. She showed us in Haiti just over two weeks ago and undoubtedly she'll show us again and again here at home. Whatever the powers end up doing or not doing to Hahamongna in our lifetime, nature will chart her own course long after we're gone. The decisions we make now must be about how best to flow with her in our lifetime.

15 comments:

Dina said...

It sounds like this coming act of man will be worse than an "act of God." Good luck.

Turquoise Diaries said...

It's a beautiful view...

mark said...

Nice photo. I love lakes and rivers. We have over 12,000 lakes here in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" and Old Man River, the mighty Mississippi River starts from a small lake in northern Minnesota. We have to take care of our lakes and rivers.
Great post. I enjoyed it.

Petrea said...

I hope it won't be too bad, Dina. I think the idea of constructing a "Nature Center" in a wilderness is an oxymoron, to put it nicely. But even if I don't get what I want I live in a democracy and sometimes that's what democracy means. My concern here is that the creators of the plan seem to be being deliberately unclear.

Yes it is, TD/Aysegul, and it's ever-changing with the seasons.

Mark--Minnesota, eh? A beautiful place. Yes, we have to take care of our rivers. Some of the problems we're having now stem from the fact that the people who came before us "took care of the rivers" without foresight.

Bellis said...

The devil's in the details, so I'm getting ready to wade through the Initial Study as well as the new Annex plans in case there are things hidden away in unexpected places. When I worked for a paint company we hid our patent applications under obscure headings to confuse our competitors, but this is the City Council, who should be transparent with their taxpayers. To give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they've just failed to make go through the final documents to make sure they're consistent throughout.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I went to one of these meetings a decade ago for the lower Arroyo. I'd come with the equestrians then. The competing agendas at the time were bicyclists verses walkers/dogs/horses. The bicyclist wanted to have one side to themselves. Then the compromised idea of a road using gravel (like the parking lot) was discussed. I think this is a common strategy. Enter the arena with a extreme idea knowing that everyone will settle on the compromise. Of course none of this came to be.

Before that it was the wipe out of non-natives in the lower Arroyo. That was painful for some of us whose sense of the Arroyo was based on Arroyo culture (think Judson Studios, Plein Aire painting and the craftsman movement).

btw: are you going to put up a audio file?

Karen said...

Another Nature Center!? Honestly, we can't have more than an acre of open space without erecting a shack and putting in some "interpretive exhibits" (read: stuffed animals)

Well and good to educate people about the local landscape but I think we have enough intrusion in our natural areas already.

Save the money for the building, the accoutrement and the staffing and put it into preservation, I say.

Petrea said...

Yeah, Bellis, the Council didn't write these documents. While it's their duty to read and understand them I hope they'll be as demanding as we are when it comes to insisting on clarity.

PA, the meetings are just insufferable, but I guess we have to go, don't we? Audio file--you mean of the State of the City video? That will be on the City's website tomorrow, I think. I'll put up a link.

Karen, I agree. If you want to teach people about nature don't take them to buildings where exhibits are housed. Take them on a hike. Kids learn from a nature center that nature is boring.

J+P said...

Non-native plants are like non-native languages, which enrich the growth of our culture. We eradicate them at our peril. Polyglot the gloom, m'boys!

Keith said...

Hey! I went to high school at La Salle. It's changed a lot since I was last there. Enjoy the school and speech tonight.

Margaret said...

I'm going to focus on the that gorgeous picture. Just beautiful!

Alam adalah Keagungan Mu said...

woow.. that is nice photo..

Petrea said...

I'm glad folks like the photo. I like the stark shadows of the trees on the water.

Alam, I tried to leave a comment on your blog but the word verification isn't working. There's no place to type it in. Your pictures of the Bromo Crater are beautiful and scary!

Cafe Pasadena said...

I went to the st of de city last yr. It was @ de Convention Center Gold Room.

I skipped it this year. Maybe when the food improves I'll again subject myself to a brunch of politicians.

altadenahiker said...

After the wanton destruction of so much in the recent past, I can't understand the willful destruction of more in the near future. I'll be at the meeting.